Thursday, April 28, 2005

Another Confidential-No-More email Message

Thanks to D. Rintoul, another colleague of mine, for sharing this no-longer confidential email with me. This email is from Timothy Barksdale, who was the lead cinematographer for the "Ivory-billed Woodpecker search party".


Hello Folks,

It has been a very long year in Arkansas. I can tell you that I have been signed to a confidentiality agreement that suddenly I am being released from.

I am sorry to have been at least a little bit quieter over this last year and many of you may have noticed that I have not been as communicative as normal. I felt I needed to avoid many of you due to the sensitive nature of my work in Arkansas. Too many questions and I would have felt horrible about deflecting and avoiding them.

On Thursday, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, The Nature Conservancy and a bunch of johnny-come-lately's will be announcing in Washington DC that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker has been rediscovered in Arkansas. I was assigned to this project to act as lead cinematographer. Over 50 searchers participated. Cornell was the leader in selecting whom they wanted to participate. We have heard leaks and rumors at times, but have been able to down play this effectively until now. A major leak has developed in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and many e-mails have gone out within the last 24 hours. We have not seen many items on the websites but I am hearing claims that there are. [five nonsense words elided by GrrlScientist]

We had planned an orderly announcement to be on May 18th and all of us were to begin calling friends and family on the 16th or 17th. The press conference has also suddenly been moved to Washington DC so that....

Gail Norton-protoge of James Watt (perhaps the worst Secretary of the Interior ever) can appear as the Bush administration flunky. She has basically bought her way on to the stage by suddenly offering 60 million in funds to buy land.

I am on my way back to Montana pulling my trailer and will be very interested to see how this is handled.

Obviously, I have many more stories about the long ordeal, the difficulty of locating Ivory-bills and opinions on this final saga.

Long Live the Ivory-bill!

Hope this makes your day!

All my best,


Timothy R. Barksdale
Birdman Productions L.L.C.
P.O. Box 1124
65 Mountain View Dr.
Choteau, MT 59422


© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist

4 Peer Reviews:

Blogger BotanicalGirl said...

Wow, you've been on a posting frenzy about this topic, and for good reason! This is exciting news.

No one would be this excited if an extinct plant was re-discovered, but that's ok. I like birds too :)

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Trey said...

I've found lots of useful information here. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

But I don't know...there's an undercurrent to some of the emails and announcements that makes me wish we could experience the joy for just a little longer before the back-biting and in-fighting begins.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Hedwig, these behind-the-scenes e-mails are great. I can imagine that the members of the search team have been busting to share their incredible news.

10:59 AM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

BotanicalGirl: I have been overjoyed with this wonderful news, and that gives me the strength to sprinkle my typos into the world with unprecidented rapidity .. And think of the rare (and probably still undiscovered) plant species in that area that can be saved because the ivory-billed woodpecker made an appearance!

Trey: I think there will be much joy for at least four days until the fighting and back-biting begin. in fact, sometime around Tuesday at 10 am, happiness will be suspended in favor of unmitigated testosterone poisoning. (er, I meant "bad behavior").

Mike: I am so glad to see that people are enjoying the behind-the-scenes accounts I've managed to get and post here. It's been terrific fun for me to do that for you all.

8:26 PM  

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